Most moms want their kids to apologize when they have done something wrong. Parents want to know if they should force their kids to apologize when they don’t want to. Why is apologizing so hard? I ask myself that question when I struggle to apologize. To get into the habit of apologizing makes it easier, and that is why we believe you should force children to apologize, even if they don’t mean it.
Our son had a tough time apologizing, especially to his sisters. We often had to force him to do it. But when we see him quickly apologize to his wife when he thinks he has offended her, we are grateful we stuck with working with him on this.
Apologizing looks like this – a child needs to:
1. Admit he (or she) was wrong. Saying “I’m sorry” is not enough. All they are sorry for is they got caught. To say, “I didn’t obey,” is not good enough either. It is too generic. He needs to state what his disobedience looked like.
2. Tell why what he did was wrong.
3. Ask for forgiveness, which is making the relationship right with the one he offended.
4. Tell what he will do to make things right, such as go and do what he was asked with a good attitude, or admit he needs to apologize to his siblings if he has offended them.
5. Accept the consequence. If a child is truly apologetic, he will calmly accept the consequence. This is why we recommend you give the consequence to your child after he apologizes. Apologizing is a key part of training children to obedience. To apologize correctly takes a humble spirit. Kids behave when they are humble, and are pleasant to be around.
What about your family? Have you worked with your children to apologize when they do something wrong or offend someone? Have you seen a difference in their attitude when they do?